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Plan to change behaviour towards mental illness

16 November 2007 Media Statement

New plan to change behaviour towards mental illness

Associate Health Minister Steve Chadwick has launched a new six-year plan to reduce discrimination against people with mental illness.

The ‘Like Minds, Like Mine National Plan 2007 – 2013: Programme to counter stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness’ outlines a number of ways to improve the way people understand and deal with mental illness.

Steve Chadwick says this programme is about more than just changing attitudes towards mental illness, but about changing people’s behaviour and practice.

“The ‘Like Minds, Like Mine’ programme has been operating for 10 years and research has shown it has successfully changed attitudes towards mental illness in many areas.”

For example, a 2004 survey found people with mental illness were seen as more employable than a previous survey in 1997. A 2007 survey found that attitudes have improved and changed for the better, but that some discrimination still exists and that needs to be addressed.

The new plan being launched today moves the programme into a new phase, focusing more on changing behaviour. It will be structured around two-year work plans with specific activities and targets to be reached, and will focus on getting results at the level of individual people, organisations and wider society.

Steve Chadwick says discrimination is recognised as one of the biggest barriers to recovery for people with mental illness, and this programme is vital to making sure that we all play our part to improve this situation.

ends

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